Concerns for Moving Forward

Hello all! I was hoping to get some feedback about a few minor topics that I feel may be impeding my development in Japanese/Wanikani (or perhaps others who may be thinking similar thoughts).

I work a full-time job, doing mostly outside work, so I have little time to work on Wanikani during that time. Currently I’m working on doing Wanikani for two hours every day (1 in the morn and 1 in the eve). How does this compare to what most people set aside for it? Is it enough? Do I need more time to do it?

Leading from that question, there are some times in those two hours where my reviews are not taking a full hour and my lessons are complete. Aside from every once in a while keeping up on Katakana and Hiragana, what else can I do? I’m currently at Lvl 6 (just about to bust through to 7), but Wanikani/Tofugu recommends not starting Grammar or other studies until Lvl 10. That being the case, aside from watching anime or picking up little blurbs here and there on websites, what else can I do to fill the time and round out my studies? What have you done in the face of such doldrums?

And finally, because I have difficulty sitting down for more than 40min, these hour sessions are rough. My body throws everything at me to keep me from doing it (sleepiness at the keyboard, spontaneous hunger, fleeting distractions, the usual), and it’s tough to keep going. This would be another reason for the second question, asking how I can make my studies more engaging, as I’m starting to become… well, disenchanted. I don’t want this to happen, as I want to stick with this. Which is why I’m attempting to look outside myself for guidance in these matters. What about you? Have any of you struggled with these same issues? How have you overcome?

Thanks for taking time to read this, and I look forward to your suggestions!


Well, two hours every day is good amount of time indeed. It’s about the pace I had for most of WK.

As for grammar, I’d give the opposite recommendation: start as soon as possible. The main point of the Tofugu team is that, by level 10, you’ll be fine kanji-wise to read anything a beginner textbook can throw at you. Then, you get to focus solely on learning the grammar.
For me, though, I feel the other way around is more beneficial. Beginner textbook won’t assume any kanji knowledge anyway, so you’ll have furigana on everything. Plus, seeing them in the “wild” will help reinforce them, so WK will get easier too.

Finally, if it’s hard for you to sit/focus that long, don’t forget to take short 5 minutes breaks. The time you “lost” will be more than made up by the increase in focus and comfort.


I really wish they’d rephrase or remove that recommendation. Go start learning grammar now in that extra time you sometimes have. The best way to be engaged when learning Japanese (in my opinion) is to consume native material. The fastest way to be able to do that is to learn kanji, vocab, and grammar in a somewhat balanced way.

If you only have time to review twice a day and it’s starting to get overwhelming, you might want to slow down a bit. If you keep at a steady pace, you’ll only get more reviews until you start burning items. I can see from your start date that you haven’t gotten any burn reviews, meaning you’re not at peak workload yet. So perhaps slightly less WaniKani and some grammar might help make things better.


Hell, learn grammar before starting Wanikani.

Er. Wait. Too late. Start now then.


Previous posters already recommended what I would say, but nonetheless I can confirm that it’s perfectly okay to start grammar BEFORE reaching level 10. Seriously, what were they thinking?

I started WK almost one month after I began studying with Japanese From Zero Book 1. I can’t recommend these textbooks enough. It’s perfect for an absolute beginner, since they won’t introduce kanji until book 3. Even kana is presented in small batches at a time. And the lessons are fun and interesting to follow. Also, Youtube videos from the author accompany each lesson up until the beginning of book 4.

One recommendation I do have is to memorize both Hiragana and Katakana before starting WK. Everything else is up to you.

Good luck with your studies :wink:

I also don’t understand how you are not supposed not to start on any grammar until level 10 but most example sentences use fairly advanced grammar - seems to be a contradiction. To be honest, I almost never try to read the example sentences anymore because they use vocab not previously introduced and the grammar is too hard. I try to do iKnow sorted by Wanikani levels instead.

As for hour long reviews, I almost never do that. I do reviews in short spurts on my phone when I have time and that works for me because I rarely can dedicate a whole hour in a row (I have a full time job and a toddler). So my first reviews are usually at around 6-6:30am but it’s not uncommon for me to wrap up then start again while I’m making toast for my daughter, wrap up then start again when she’s in childcare and I’m on the train to work.


Thanks for the input! Seems most others agree about the grammar recommendation being inaccurate.

I’ll definitely try the breaks!

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Thanks for all your input! The lvl 10 recommendation was making me feel bummed out, just because it seems like at the somewhat slow pace I’m moving at it won’t be until next year or close to the end of this year. I now feel encouraged to fly in the face of fear and start absorbing grammar! Thanks!

Alenaf, yeah, I totally agree about the example sentences. I used to spend an extra 10 min on lessons to read through all the sentences, but they started having complicated Kanji in there (things with like 5 or 6 radicals) that made me unable to properly read them and catch the cadence. Some had 3 or 4! Since then I have stopped reading them for now.

I’ll definitely try to pace out my two hours better. I was doing the hour mostly because my reviews for a time were about 90 or 100+ every time I sat down to do them, which took me roughly an hour.


Read chapters 4-7 of my Guide to Wanikani. I’m sure you can make your WK routine quite more effective and spend less time on it (saving time for other stuff). As an example, at the speed you’re going (5 levels in 3 months), I feel like those 2h can be reduced to around 30 mins/day tbh (or you can speed up leveling).


There are also some apps out there to help you study.
I use a WOTD (Word of the Day) app called Kanji OTD,
and a vocab app called JLPT Vocabulary. That might help you go over some of your kanji and add some vocabulary.

Some have recommended Bunko for grammar; and there are countless posts on people going through Genki I.

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